When you've got a good foundation, it's easy to elaborate on.
The dr bob cooking school welcomed an aunt-in-law from Lebanon who had never had (or made) cheesecake. Offering us a golden opportunity to try out a few modifications of the tried and true hazelnut recipe and a photo-op as well now that the team was into illustrating its modest accomplishments in the kitchen. dr bob had just picked up a Gourmet magazine with a cover story on Nutella, the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread known far and wide to gluttons, at least those on top of the international food chain fortunate enough to be served by the global marketplace of the 90's. Hazelnuts plus chocolate equals "gianduia" (John, do ya?) in Italy, which achieves its nearly lethal combination in a jar as Nutella, apparently sold in quantities exceeding that of peanut butter worldwide. Hmm... why not add a Nutella touch to the hazelnut recipe?
Lousntag's English was limited to a few words, but many more than bob's nonexistent Armenian. She clearly understood enough to participate, armed with almost a year of American television viewing and obvious kitchen sense to interpret bob's attempts at simple key word and gesture communication. Unfortunately her sister Isgouhi was a winter cold casualty unable to join the class, so the demystification of cheesecake for her would have to be delayed.
A tall crass plastic container of chocolate syrup remained in the fridge from a previous recipe, taking up precious space on the top shelf where it seemed to be more just in the way than awaiting further use. (Apparently its intended consumers don't want the discretely small size.) And a still sealed box of chocolate wafers was in storage, acquired as a possible ingredient for some other recipe that chose an alternative direction. Recipe ready hazelnuts are always in the fridge, so all bases were covered. We figured a chocolate cookie crumb crust plus a discrete hit of syrup in the filling would do the trick.
This being the 90's, the cream cheese fat content combination question had to be decided. Too much fat lightening (as in no fat cream cheese) leads to problems with the final product consistency so we went 50-50: half full fat and half one-third-reduced fat (neuchatfel), thus diluting the fat content reduction to one sixth, hardly significant, eh? And to lighten the slices, we bumped up the 9 inch springform pan to the 11 inch size to reduce the height roughly by a third as well. [Do the math: 1 - (9/11)2 = 1-81/121 = 1-80/120 = 1-2/3 = 1/3.]
The result did not disappoint. [Gross understatement.]
We followed through immediately with a half-recipe for a dinner invitation not-arriving-empty-handed offering. Providing independent confirmation of its successful marriage of flavors. Since even we have trouble disposing of a full size cheesecake, we downsized to the more discrete 7 inch pan size for the particular circumstances (5 dinner guests), cutting small slices, and only leaving the hosting couple to deal with the remaining half half-recipe cake. The height actually inflated by about 20 percent. [Do the math: h272 = h1112/2 -> h2/h1=(11/7)2/2 = (121/49)/2 = (120/50)/2 = 6/5 = 1.2.] Which is still about 80 percent of the full-size 9 inch pan recipe height [figure this one out yourself], so a modest slab dimension reduction remains.
|full size||half size|
|11 in = 28 cm||7 in =18cm||springform pan|
|2/3 stick = 5.3 T = 1/6 lb = 80 g||1/3 stick = 2.7 T = 1/12 lb = 40 g||unsalted butter|
|1 c||1/2 c||finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs|
|1/4 c = 4 T||2 T||ground hazelnut crumbs|
|1/4 c = 4 T||2 T||sugar|
|2 lbs = 4 8 oz packages = 900 g||1 lb = 2 8 oz packages = 450 g||cream cheese|
|1 1/2 c = 350 g||3/4 c = 175 g||sugar|
|2 T||1 T||Frangelico hazelnut liqueur|
|1/2 c||1/4 c||ground hazelnut crumbs|
|2 T||1 T||chocolate syrup|
|2 c = 16 oz = 450 g||1 c = 8 oz = 225 g||sour cream|
|1/4 c = 4 T||2 T||sugar|
|1 t||1/2 t||Frangelico hazelnut liqueur|
|2 T||1 T||ground hazelnut crumbs|